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Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

Meissen Snuffboxes

Of the Eighteenth Century

Originally praised for its medicinal purposes, powdered tobacco emerged as a fashionable stimulant among Europe’s high-society during the eighteenth century. To accommodate this novel pastime, elegant ladies and gentleman of the era sought to complete their look with tabatières, or elaborately painted porcelain snuffboxes.
Meissen Snuffboxes presents more than one hundred of the finest snuffboxes produced by the European porcelain manufacturer Meissen throughout the eighteenth century. Among the first manufacturers to cater to the rapidly growing demand for these tiny treasures, Meissen developed a wide range of snuffboxes, each fastidiously painted by the company’s most adept painters and incorporating motifs from the entire Meissen repertoire. In addition to 250 full-color photographs, this comprehensive catalog includes detailed descriptions of each item by eminent scholars in the field, as well as contributions that discuss current scholarship.
Beautifully illustrated, Meissen Snuffboxes offers an incredible amount of information and shows how these tiny containers provide some of the most intimate insight available into the courtly life of the eighteenth century.

350 pages | 250 color plates | 9 1/2 x 11 | © 2013

Art: Art--General Studies

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“This beautifully illustrated volume is something of an extraordinary breakthrough. [The book] discusses more than one hundred porcelain snuffboxes, . . . each photographed with great skill, many from more than one angle. . . . The catalogue itself is preceded by a number of essays by some of the most distinguished scholars in the field. . . . Such a collaboration is to be greatly applauded, and the result will prove to be of continuing benefit to those interested in the social history of taste in the eighteenth century, and to those with a passion for the products.”


Table of Contents


Porcelain Snuff Boxes of the Eighteenth Century: An Introduction

Barbara Beaucamp-Markowsky


Snuff Boxes and the Taking of Snuff: On the Purpose of Luxury

Hans Ottomeyer

Precious Snuff Boxes in Princely Collections of the Eighteenth Century

Lorenz Seelig

Pleasure and Principle: Collecting Snuff Boxes from 1800 Onwards

Heike Zech

Eighteenth Century Meissen Porcelain Snuff Boxes

Ulrich Pietsch

Image and Symbol: On the Use and Meaning of the Snuff Box as Reflected by Meissen Figures of the Eighteenth Century

Sarah-Katharina Acevedo



The Work Reports of Meissen Modellers and Decorators concerning Snuff Boxes

Selected and transcribed by Ulrich Pietsch



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